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Mar 15, 2010

The Health Care End, End, End Game: Dennis and the Bully Pulpit

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obama kucinich 2.jpg  Obama Kucinich 4.jpg

There must have been something wrong with my computer last night. Somehow, the caption I reeled in read:

President Kucinich speaks with reporters and photographers after exiting Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Monday, March 15, 2010. Kucinich was accompanied by Illinois Senator Barack Obama on a visit to Strongsville, Ohio, where the president presented "closing arguments" for his single payer "Medicare for All" program expected to be approved by Congress this week through a reconciliation procedure. (image 1& 3: Charles Dharapak/AP. image 2: Cliff Owen/AP)

Kucinich's Health Reform Dissents Merit Consideration (Nation)

Kucinich in Obama's crosshairs (44/WAPO)

In defense of Dennis Kucinich (Michon/Salon)

Your Turn: Rielle Hunter Speaks Out (in Words and... Whoa!)


Although I typically wouldn't pay much attention to Reille Hunter, these pictures call up various issues (not new, of course) between the public figure, the media, the publisher and the photographer, as well as hit some rough chords concerning gender and public culture.

These two photos accompany an interview feature in yes, GQ in which Hunter strives to tell her side of the John Edwards story -- free of payment, she and GQ emphasize.  (Not to be overlooked, there is one more decidedly Mommy-free pic in the slide show.) To provide a jumping off point for discussion, here are snips that stood out from two reader comments on the slideshow:

Continue reading "Your Turn: Rielle Hunter Speaks Out (in Words and... Whoa!)" »

Mar 14, 2010

Rahm: On the Rocks? Outside the Wire?

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Continue reading "Rahm: On the Rocks? Outside the Wire?" »

As HCR Comes Down to Arm-Twisting Finish, Check Out that Sexist Framing of Pelosi

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About to deliver her imprint on the biggest and most controversial piece of legislation of her life, get ready for a steady stream of pictures of Pelosi this week (already started: 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.) making her look like an incredible goof. (Not that The BAG hasn't been pointing this out, by the way, since the two-headed monster won the White House News Photographer Association's "Political Photo of the Year" in '07.)

In this pic, The Speaker is miniaturized; her title is almost completely obscured and sliced; her oversized and disembodied hand, combined with the angle of the drapes, the flags, the ceiling, the reflection in the mirror, and the eagles ringing her head make her seem like she's part of a real carnival; and her bulging eyes make her look like a hysteric, which -- with all the exaggerated expressions and super-close ups already flooding the wire -- is what the distortion is really about.

(title changed/slightly revised - 2pm PST)

(photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images. caption: U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during her weekly news conference March 12, 2010 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Pelosi discussed the health care reform legislation with the media.)

Mar 13, 2010

A Moment's Rest

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by contributor John Lucaites

The caption reads, “Towards the end of a two-day road-clearing mission, a marine got a moment’s rest.”  

It is a reminder of war’s numbing brutality, not just as a matter of lives and limbs lost, but in terms of its impact on the human soul. Bent double, his shoulders slumped, he appears to be exhausted by the sheer weight of his weapon and equipment, if not more so by the stressful weight of his charge to clear a road of bombs on what appears to be a road to nowhere; we might say that he is suspended in a state of rest—somewhere between standing and sitting, or perhaps in a liminal state between life and death — but we surely can’t say that he is resting. His line of sight is directed downward. He can see no more than the craggy ground beneath his feet—if he see’s at all. And where he will go next is not clear as he seems literally to have come to the end of the road.  

Perhaps that’s the point.

War takes its toll in many ways, not least by how it deadens the human spirit by thoroughly disrupting the ordinary routines of everyday life like eating a meal or taking a bath, or as in the picture below, getting a restful night’s sleep.

Continue reading "A Moment's Rest" »

Mar 12, 2010

Construction is Booming! The Recovery has Arrived!

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According to the newswires, construction is finally booming and there are now plenty of new jobs for Americans in the building trades...

if we're talking surge dollars and new bases in Afghanistan.

(photo: John Moore/Getty Images. caption: U.S. Army carpenters from the 60th Engineer Company construct a new command center while expanding an American military base for incoming troops on March 11, 2010 at Forward Operating Base Ramrod in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. Bases across southern Afghanistan are being enlarged to accommodate the surge of fresh troops ordered by President Obama as part of the new war strategy.)


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The visual allusion drawn by the White House, the President stumping the country for most of the week, is that Obama is having a glowing effect from the bully pulpit -- emphasis on "pulpit."

Continue reading "Deliverance" »

Mar 11, 2010

Your Turn: I Look at Life from Booth Seats Now


© Timothy Fadek - click for larger size

Since we had so much fun deconstructing this get-together Rove threw for students last year, I'm interested in your take on this clever photo by photojournalist and long-time friend of The BAG, Tim Fadek, who was on the trail of Karl this week. (Caption below.)

And how's this for a shameless plug? ... This post is unabashedly inspired by the approaching relaunch of BagNewsNotes, featuring BagNewsOriginals -- a new section dedicated exclusively to photojournalism. Clink! Clink!

(photo: Tim Fadek/Polaris Images. caption: Karl Rove promotes his memoir at the Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel in New York. His book is entitled, Courage and Consequences: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight." Rove, the mastermind of George W. Bush's two successful presidential runs and a top White House aide, signed in 2007 with Threshold Editions, a conservative imprint of Simon & Schuster. Rove, who became synonymous with ruthless but effective campaign tactics, said in a statement Threshold issued Wednesday that his book would be "a frank account of what I witnessed and my often-controversial role.")

Haiti: Strictly Bananas


(Click for larger size)

Hmm, couched in a bunch of U.N. photos of peacekeeping troops patrolling "a notoriously dangerous slum on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti" (1, 2, 3 -- this latter one particularly scary the way the gun points directly at the woman's head); and this one in the "Central Market in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a sensitive area where security measures have been increased"; and also this one, of a "slum of Martissant in the southern hills of Haiti capital Port-au-Prince, where violence is rampant and security measures have been increased since a prison break of about 4,000 convicts," we find the photo above.

I guess the jungly vibe, and the crouch, and the turned-in fingers, and all those bananas -- absent any hint of the so-captioned "newly-revived Port-au-Prince market" -- are supposed to strictly reveal this boy as part of Haiti's rebound.

(photo: Pasqual Gorriz/UN. caption: Boy Sells Bananas in Newly-Revived Port-au-Prince Market: A teenage boy sells bananas in Port-au-Prince Central Market which is slowly reviving after the 12 January earthquake. 22 February 2010 Port-au-Prince, Haiti.)

Mar 10, 2010

Tea Party Begets Heat Party

Radical right gun enthusiasts have taken to flaunting firearms in public places like Starbucks

Here's the photo the NYT ran of Greg Dement (yes, that's his last name) anchoring a Tea Party-inspired, "right-of-the-NRA" demonstration to openly flaunt weapons in public -- given his right to do so in 38 states. (In contrast to other big coffee chains that have barred weapons, Starbucks has officially decided "not to get involved" -- thus turning their stores into protest corrals.)

I'm not sure if the composition of this photo was determined by the pairing of the gun with the coffee cup with the anti-gun protesters. Someone defending Mr. Dement might argue, however, the point was simply to "make him look an ass."

(But if that was the motive, still another person might say this does an even better job.)

(photo: Elaine Thompson/A.P. caption: Greg Dement, left, is handed a Starbucks coffee drink as he sits with a handgun strapped to his belt while looking on at an anti-gun rally in Seattle, Wednesday, March 3, 2010. Starbucks is sticking to its policy of letting customers carry guns where it is legal and said it does not want to be put in the middle of a larger gun-control debate.)

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